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DR. SCOTT COOK: Spine care safe while pregnant

by on August 19, 2014 10:49 AM

Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy is not only safe, it is essential. We can look at the implications of subluxation from a bio-mechanical, hormonal and neurological standpoint.

It is easy for all of us to see postural changes throughout pregnancy. The center of gravity changes, the weight of the baby places increased pressure on the spine and pelvis, and toward the end of the pregnancy, changes are seen in walking patterns (the “waddle”). What we can’t see are the millions of different hormonal changes and chemical reactions occurring both in the mother and the developing baby, all of which are controlled and coordinated through the nervous system. Adjustments result in easier pregnancy, significantly decreased labor time and assist new mothers back to pre-pregnancy health. In one study, women receiving chiropractic care throughout their first pregnancy had 24 percent shorter labor times than the group not receiving chiropractic care. This study also showed that women with two or more births reported 39 percent shorter labor times. Thirty-nine percent — that’s a massive difference. In addition, 84 percent of women reported relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care. There is significantly less likelihood of having back pain when receiving chiropractic care throughout pregnancy because the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis are able to function better.

Chiropractic care will help one attain better posture and this is extremely important because body position during delivery is critical. Any labor position that denies postural sacral rotation denies the mother and the baby critical pelvic outlet diameter and jams the tip of the sacrum up to 4 centimeters into the pelvic outlet. Greater complications during delivery result in greater neurological insult to the newborn due to injury to the head and neck. Even after vaginal births, 4.6 percent of term neonates suffer unexplained brain bleeds and 10 percent suffer neonatal encephalopathy.

It is also important for newborns to be checked for spinal problems directly after birth as well. Adjustments to newborns contain only ounces of force but that force is directed into the spine to facilitate health and remove subluxations. I recommend having your child adjusted as soon after birth as possible, to alleviate subluxations caused by in-utero constraint and the journey down through the birth canal. Even relatively easy deliveries can result in subluxations. That’s why every child should be checked before problems with their health even develop. There is no better way to get a head start in life.

When we listen to mothers’ stories of their pregnancy, labor and delivery, the children who suffer the most with spinal problems are the ones who’ve had the greatest trouble with their births. A lot of times this trouble can be eliminated with the use of chiropractic care. Preventing subluxations in mothers to prevent them in their babies during pregnancy and childbirth is preventive care in the truest sense. Every pregnant woman should be checked by their chiropractor to optimize a healthy pregnancy.

Dr. Scott R. Cook D.C., ACRRT, operates Cook Chiropractic and Rehabilitation in Indiana.
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